Why you should say thank you instead of I’m sorry
Start writing a post
Friendships

You Belong Here So Stop Saying 'I'm Sorry' All The Time

If you don't need to apologize, then don't apologize.

323
You Belong Here So Stop Saying 'I'm Sorry' All The Time
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Picture this: you're walking down a street in a completely normal and non-disruptive fashion, and all of a sudden, someone walking from the opposite direction bumps into you. What would be your immediate response? If you're thinking that you would frantically respond with "I'm sorry," then you most likely have the sorry syndrome.

The over-apologizers of the world always feel like they're doing something wrong in one way or another. But why is it exactly that we feel that way?

A lot of us, and this is especially true for women, grow up with impossibly high standards to reach. We carry a belief that if we're not doing exactly what we're told at the right time and the right place, we're doing it wrong. That kind of logic is what leads to the constant need of justifying and apologizing: sorry I bumped into you; sorry I didn't close the door; sorry for coughing; sorry for looking terrible today. There's a sense of self-consciousness flowing behind these apologies. In attempting to break this habit, we are also working on our self-acceptance, and being comfortable with the idea that it is impossible to please everyone.
But, say you've worked on your self-acceptance and confidence, but you still find yourself constantly feeling the need to apologize, how would break the habit then?

Say thank you.

Firstly, let's differentiate between sorry and thank you. An apology is about the apologizer and what they did wrong. A thank you, on the other hand, is a form of acknowledgment to the other person. When we apologize, we're making the situation about us, when it doesn't have to be. Rather than apologizing for a trivial mistake, thank the other person for doing something right. "Sorry I'm late" for example, could be "thank you for waiting for me." "Sorry to burden you with this," could be "thank you for listening." This way, we are celebrating the other person rather than filling ourselves with a sense of guilt and pity by apologizing.

There's also a great sense of empowerment in replacing the word sorry. By breaking the habit of chronic apologizing, you are allowing yourself to take up space. As aforementioned, over-apologizers tend to feel like they don't have the right to be where they are. When, in reality, they are perfectly deserving to be in the position that they're in and don't need to apologize for it.
Swapping these words also affects its recipient as much as it's affecting you. Say you're out with a friend who seems to be particularly upset or in a bad mood. Instead of saying "sorry if I put you in a bad mood" or "sorry if this isn't what you wanted to do tonight," you can say "thank you for being here," and so on. In thanking them, you're acknowledging them for what they're doing. By apologizing, however, you're adding guilt to that person and making the situation about yourself.

It's important to note that the majority of people that over-apologize don't have self-involved intentions in saying sorry. In fact, most of them do genuinely feel guilty and want the other person to feel better. But, it's important for all of us to understand the implications of being sorry and know when it's appropriate to use.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

39232
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

114558
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments